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Food vacuum sealer?
Old 05-23-2017, 10:53 AM   #1
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Food vacuum sealer?

Cooking for 2 usually yields some leftovers. Considering a sealer so we aren't limited to what can be kept in the fridge for a few days. I'm guessing that the real expense is the cost of the bags over time...am I correct?

If you have a sealer you like, what brand do you recommend?
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:20 AM   #2
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Foodsaver. Use generic bags bought in bulk (from Amazon etc).
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:24 AM   #3
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I have a sealer and YES the bags are the big costs....

I estimate that it cost $1 for everything that I bag... it really is a bit less, but that is what I use to calculate if I want to freeze anything...


I have no idea about which is better... I have a seal-a-meal and it works great... I even have a few hard plastic containers that I can reuse for things.... but we do not even use them....

We do not use it much... I did a big amount of prime steaks more than a year ago since they were so cheap... but most of the time I just put stuff in aluminum foil and use it in a reasonable time...
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:25 AM   #4
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I've been using foodsaver for years. I use it less for leftovers and more for stocking up when buying things in bulk and/or when on sale.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:28 AM   #5
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Also, with the bags, for most things you can cut the bags a bit big the first time and then wash them after use and reuse them to keep costs down.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:18 PM   #6
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I've been using foodsaver for years. I use it less for leftovers and more for stocking up when buying things in bulk and/or when on sale.
We just use ours for bulk purchases of meat and the great stuff that comes off the smoker due to the bag cost. For short term use like leftovers, it's either plastic containers or ziplocks.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:26 PM   #7
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I've had a Foodsaver for years and use it all the time. I buy the rolls from Foodsaver and make my own bags. If you sign up on the Foodsaver site they have good sale prices and you'll get the alerts for the current sale. I wait until they offer free shipping and then I stock up.

Here is a new product they have that we use very often for leftovers. Foodsaver Fresh Containers - Vacuum Food Containers | Foodsaver
These are a bit of an investment but we use them a lot. You can find cheaper prices at Target or Walmart.

I already had the rechargeable handheld unit that can be used with these. I'm amazed at how long fresh strawberries last in one of these.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:30 PM   #8
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Costco also carries bags for Foodsaver.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:16 PM   #9
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Yep, use it a lot, especially for the meat and seafood we buy at Costco.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:19 PM   #10
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i wanted to get one from a tv infomercial, i expressed this to the bride in the form of a question: "Hey sweetie, lets get this food sealer for the leftovers ok?" The response "with you around there are no leftovers." I think in my next slim life i will get one.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:42 PM   #11
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I have had a "seal a meal" for years now and love it. I don't use it for leftovers, I use it to store bulk so it doesn't freezer burn.

Like a whole tenderloin. Cut to steaks and roasts then seal and freeze individual portions. Or when I order up the Maine lobster tails, I always get a lot it saves on shipping and then I'll seal and freeze the extra.

It works very well, allows me to indulge in luxury and cut costs w/o damaging the goods.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:44 PM   #12
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Leftovers never last more than a few days, so plastic containers with a good seal do the job just fine. We have lots of different sizes and shapes.

Even for sous vide, the vacuum is often not really necessary; a simple ziplock bag does the trick in may cases as long as you get the air out of it so it doesn't float. But I almost always use the vacuum sealer for sous vide anyway.

I can't imagine keeping leftovers in the freezer for a long time, but if we did that, I'd use a vacuum sealer for it.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
Cooking for 2 usually yields some leftovers. Considering a sealer so we aren't limited to what can be kept in the fridge for a few days. I'm guessing that the real expense is the cost of the bags over time...am I correct?

If you have a sealer you like, what brand do you recommend?
If you are talking about external sealers (Foodsavers are external), then yes, the real expense over time is the cost of the bags. If you opt for a more expensive (but also more bulky) chamber sealer, then cost of bags drop to about a nickel to a dime a bag, but a chamber has a larger upfront cost. Plus, many don't have a canister port for sealing stuff in jars like mason jars.

I've owned both. At this time, I have a chamber for sealing stuff in bags, but also have an old original type Foodsaver for resealing (not vacuum sealing) bags like for potato chips and frozen vegetables. Plus, I use the canister port on the Foodsaver for mason jars.

There are a lot of models to choose from. Not only Foodsaver brand but other brands too. They aren't all the same in some do a better job of keeping a seal. Plus, most sealers don't handle liquids well. In other words, you have to be careful to not suck up the juice into the pump.

If you look in Amazon, play close attention to the reviews as some my a high rating but are from folks who at first rate as 5 stars, but later the machines didn't keep a seal but they never updated the rating. I've owned a couple of Foodsaver machines in the past that had the can't hold a seal issue.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
Cooking for 2 usually yields some leftovers. Considering a sealer so we aren't limited to what can be kept in the fridge for a few days. I'm guessing that the real expense is the cost of the bags over time...am I correct?

If you have a sealer you like, what brand do you recommend?
What features are you looking for in a sealer? Do you want a basic sealer that just vacuums and seals? Or do you want other features like roll holder and cutter? Plus, do you plan on sealing mason jars/canisters? If so, then you want one that has that feature.

I've owned 4 Foodsaver brand sealers in the past. They are older. Two of them had trouble keeping a seal. One I gave a way because it didn't have a roll holder which I liked.

The one I like (and still own) is a totally manual original type made in Italy (Tillia). Plus, I had a Vacupack equivalent but sold at ebay. Maybe just as important is the type of bag used. With Foodsaver bags, I've had varying results.

The best bags I used are Vacstrip bags where the center of the bag has a strip (thus the name) where air leaves for vacuuming, instead of the entire bag like the common Foodsaver ones.

I like the old original Foodsaver machines because not only do they have a roll holder, cutter and canister port, but also if the machine does happen to suck up too much juice (which can happen if you buy, say chicken leg quarters or pork chops and vacuum seal them to avoid freezer burn), the juices leave through the bottom of the machine and need cleaning, but won't mess up the pump like many others.

As for the more recent Foodsavers, I never tried. Perhaps others here have.

As mentioned in my previous post, for vacuum sealing meats, I also have a chamber sealer which is a bit of a beast (weighs about 50 lbs and a loud pump) but I get great results, even with cheap chamber type bags.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:48 PM   #15
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We had a Foodsaver many years ago... used it for a while mostly for bulk purchases for the freezer. It was ok... a bit more trouble than it is worth. We don't do a lot of bulk purchasing/freezing anymore so I think DW gave it away. For the amoutn of time that food stays in our freezer before getting used, Ziploc freezer bags are sufficient, more convenient and cheaper.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:03 PM   #16
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I have found that the FoodSavers do not produce reliable seals. In fact, I went to automatically double sealing. My standard rule is "Never buy cheap tools." I inadvertently violated this with two FoodSavers.

I now have a Weston 1100. This is top notch equipment, the smallest in their commercial line. If you hang around here: Refurbished Meat Grinders, Smokers, Vacuum Sealers, and More you will probably eventually see one at a good price.

Amen on the bag cost. I buy only rolls, so I can minimize the amount of material I use. FoodSaver is quite addicted to discounting, so if you watch their website you will eventually see BOGO with free shipping. When that happens the 8" roll ends up costing me around twenty cents per foot. As has been said, chamber sealers use much cheaper material but they are simply huge compared to the space we have for such animals.
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:00 PM   #17
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I never freeze raw meat. Always cook them and then break out in small portion and freeze in glass containers. Mostly stew or ribs. Much cheaper in the long run.
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Food vacuum sealer?
Old 05-24-2017, 08:13 AM   #18
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Food vacuum sealer?

I had a FoodSaver and it finally broke recently (The heating element was tattered and it stopped sealing.) but I couldn't bring myself up to buy a new one for $130+ since I rarely used it, (I tend to wrap raw meat tight with Some cling wrap a few times and that tends to work well enough.) but I bought a huge block of Parmesan cheese and needed something that could vacuum sealed it. Found an older model used FoodSaver (in a good condition) for $15 CAD on Kijiji (Canadian version of Craigslist) and I am very happy with the purchase. Especially because I still have boxes of FoodSaver bags left to be used.


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Old 05-24-2017, 10:24 AM   #19
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Bought a Weston and the bags (about $0.20 each) on Amazon a year or two ago to facilitate sous vide (Anova unit). I've decided it's the best way to do a thick fillet; also works well with chicken and salmon but usually don't bother. If we're doing a $30 piece of meat I want it perfect.

As for food storage, not sure what we did without it. Not so much for leftovers, but do a lot of recipes for stews, soups, or even bb ribs on the grill that are WAY more than two of us can finish. So deliberately portion it out and vacuum seal it. That way don't have to plan on eating chili 5 times in next five days...throw them in the freezer and when don't feel like cooking out they come, frozen, into a pan of boiling water, and dinner is ready. No freezer burn and I've had stuff in there for months that comes out fine. Little clean up. Highly recommend.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:59 AM   #20
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Bought a Weston and the bags (about $0.20 each) on Amazon a year or two ago to facilitate sous vide (Anova unit). I've decided it's the best way to do a thick fillet; also works well with chicken and salmon but usually don't bother. If we're doing a $30 piece of meat I want it perfect.

As for food storage, not sure what we did without it. Not so much for leftovers, but do a lot of recipes for stews, soups, or even bb ribs on the grill that are WAY more than two of us can finish. So deliberately portion it out and vacuum seal it. That way don't have to plan on eating chili 5 times in next five days...throw them in the freezer and when don't feel like cooking out they come, frozen, into a pan of boiling water, and dinner is ready. No freezer burn and I've had stuff in there for months that comes out fine. Little clean up. Highly recommend.
That's exactly what we do, including both the Weston and the Anova. I am into smoking meats and bbq, so our freezer has lots of portions of ribs, brisket and home-made bacon. Our only problem is losing track of what we have in there. Often, opening the freezer becomes a voyage of discovery.
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